From 1930, when the first family arrived, until 1950, Fingal Bay was peaceful, out of the way.
A gathering of weekenders, holiday shacks and very few permanent residents.

The only sounds that could be heard were the birds in the trees, the clucking of Jack Barry’s free-range chickens and the waves breaking along the beach.


One morning, a frightening, roaring sound that startled the sleepy community echoed across the Bay.

“What is that? It is on the beach next to the fresh-water creek”.
Those in Fingal Bay at the time were alarmed and startled.

The source of the unholy racket was found: “Clatterbang”.

Not since the first car, a 1913 Buick, rolled along the sandy track into Fingal Bay in 1932 had the tiny hamlet experienced such a deafening noise.


This was different, it was on the water.

Closer investigation revealed that a young fisherman, Ken Barry, had saved up £90 to
purchase his first boat, “Clatterbang”, a 16 footer with a 6hp Clay engine.


The first motorboat in Fingal Bay. Ken recalls the time when the engine first kicked over.

Smoke poured from the motor and everything shook.


All the birds, including his father’s chooks, panicked – such was the commotion.

Fingal Bay was never to be the same again.


The Tomaree Museum Association Incorporated aims to develop a  regional museum and interpretative centre to document, protect and promote the history and changing natural environment of Port Stephens.


The Tomaree Museum Association acknowledges the Worimi people,
the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waters upon which Tomaree Museum stands. We should like to pay our respect to the Elders
past and present, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this
website contains a range of material which may be culturally sensitive
including records of people who may have passed away.